WP7 roadmap: CDMA support, IE9, SkyDrive, Twitter, multitasking

By on February 14, 2011, 12:53 PM
The big news last week was that Nokia was switching to Windows Phone as its primary smartphone platform. At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, however, Microsoft had a lot more to share regarding WP7's future. Here are several new features and capabilities coming this year:
  • First Major Update: A free customer update will be made available for all Windows Phones in the first two weeks of March, which includes new capabilities such as copy & paste and faster application performance.
  • Availability on CDMA Networks: With added support for CDMA networks, Windows Phone will be available to even more customers on mobile operators such as Verizon and Sprint in the first half of 2011.
  • Twitter Integration in the People Hub: The popular social networking service Twitter will be integrated into the People Hub in the second half of 2011.
  • Office Document Storage in the Cloud: Document sharing and storage in the cloud via Windows Live SkyDrive will be added to Windows Phone in the second half of 2011.
  • Next Generation Browsing with Internet Explorer 9: A dramatically enhanced Internet Explorer 9 web browser will be added to Windows Phone in the second half of 2011. It will feature the same standards support (HTML5, etc.) and hardware accelerated graphics as the PC version.
  • Additional Multitasking Capabilities: We will add the ability to switch quickly between applications, run applications in the background (such as listening to music), along with a number of other capabilities in the second half of 2011. Developers will learn much more about this during April's MIX conference.

Microsoft also took the opportunity to announce that it now has over 30,000 registered Windows Phone developers. They have built 8,000 apps to date, adding about 100 new titles every day.

In the video above, you can see how multitasking will work on WP7. Below, the image on the left shows how SkyDrive integration will look while the image on the right shows IE9 mobile running an apparent GPU acceleration demonstration.

"It was only a year ago that we unveiled Windows Phone 7 to the world for the first time," a Microsoft spokesperson said in statement. "It was more than the launch of a new product. Windows Phone 7 represents the best from Microsoft including Xbox LIVE, Office, Bing, Hotmail and Windows Live, adding to that deep integration of third party experiences like Facebook as well as thousands more from developers. For consumers, we set out to make Windows Phones the easiest to use and most delightful phones in the market. With Windows Phone, our top priority was to build phones that people love. Our phones are differentiated in the way they are designed, and the way that experiences are seamless and beautifully integrated. This focus on smart design makes it easier and faster to get to the information you care about. And with Windows Phone Hubs, we organize information, applications and services into one place."





User Comments: 20

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aj_the_kidd said:

A free customer update will be made available for all Windows Phones

Forgive my ignorance but does that mean there will be paid updates in the future? Also if you wouldn't mind, how will the updates be applied OTA or through some app?

Guest said:

Got me thinking too. I thought all updates are free.

treeski treeski said:

They aren't going to charge for updates. That would completely ruin everything that they're pushing for. No one would ever buy a Windows Phone if they knew they would have to pay to update the (not yet up-to-date software).

Also, I believe the update is installed through the Zune software on your PC. Additionally, I think you'd get a notification on your phone that an update is available.

aj_the_kidd said:

Cheers, i guess it was just bad choice of words then, well i would hope so if i were a wp7 owner

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

It's hilarious how the guy in the video shows off standard functionalities as if they were the next big thing. Multitasking should have been there since day 1. How come pre-paid phones can have custom ringtones but this smartphone can't? These are simple things people; simple.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

treeski said:

They aren't going to charge for updates. That would completely ruin everything that they're pushing for. No one would ever buy a Windows Phone if they knew they would have to pay to update the (not yet up-to-date software).

Also, I believe the update is installed through the Zune software on your PC. Additionally, I think you'd get a notification on your phone that an update is available.

Also, I don't mean to sound like the grammar police (which in this case means I do mean to), but those parenthesis were used incorrectly.

Tanstar said:

Lawfer said:

treeski said:

They aren't going to charge for updates. That would completely ruin everything that they're pushing for. No one would ever buy a Windows Phone if they knew they would have to pay to update the (not yet up-to-date software).

Also, I believe the update is installed through the Zune software on your PC. Additionally, I think you'd get a notification on your phone that an update is available.

Also, I don't mean to sound like the grammar police (which in this case means I do mean to), but those parenthesis were used incorrectly.

Just should've ended them after the "up-to-date" part. ". . . pay to update the (not yet up-to-date) software."

treeski treeski said:

Lawfer said:

Also, I don't mean to sound like the grammar police (which in this case means I do mean to), but those parenthesis were used incorrectly.

I meant to close the parentheses before the word 'software'. You contradict yourself here. You say you don't mean to sound like the grammar police, except that you do.

Lawfer said:

It's hilarious how the guy in the video shows off standard functionalities as if they were the next big thing. Multitasking should have been there since day 1. How come pre-paid phones can have custom ringtones but this smartphone can't? These are simple things people; simple.

If you really want to be correct, any typed (or written) number in a sentence under 10 should be the full word (unless a number of 10 or greater is also in the sentence).

Also, webOS is the only mobile platform that I'm aware of that has had multitasking for any great length of time. The iOS was updated with multitasking less than a year ago, so it's hardly standard.

I agree that custom ringtones is a simple concept that should have been included at release. However, custom ringtones aren't perfect on other OSes either.

WP7 is playing catch up on certain fronts. That's pretty obvious. There are a number of features that WP7 has that other mobile OSes don't.

aj_the_kidd said:

treeski said:

There are a number of features that WP7 has that other mobile OSes don't.

Such as?

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

treeski said:

Lawfer said:

Also, I don't mean to sound like the grammar police (which in this case means I do mean to), but those parenthesis were used incorrectly.

I meant to close the parentheses before the word 'software'. You contradict yourself here. You say you don't mean to sound like the grammar police, except that you do.

Lawfer said:

It's hilarious how the guy in the video shows off standard functionalities as if they were the next big thing. Multitasking should have been there since day 1. How come pre-paid phones can have custom ringtones but this smartphone can't? These are simple things people; simple.

If you really want to be correct, any typed (or written) number in a sentence under 10 should be the full word (unless a number of 10 or greater is also in the sentence).

Also, webOS is the only mobile platform that I'm aware of that has had multitasking for any great length of time. The iOS was updated with multitasking less than a year ago, so it's hardly standard.

I agree that custom ringtones is a simple concept that should have been included at release. However, custom ringtones aren't perfect on other OSes either.

WP7 is playing catch up on certain fronts. That's pretty obvious. There are a number of features that WP7 has that other mobile OSes don't.

Yes, I do mean to sound like a grammar police, which I admitted when I said I did mean it (you know, the stuff that was inside the parenthesis in my earlier comment). How am I contradicting myself when I admit the act? Oh lord.

And the fact you meant to end the parenthesis, doesn't change the fact that you in didn't; that is what I was pointing out. I apologize if it seems I'm making a big deal, but I can't help it. I love how you point out the number thing. I know, it hurts, doesn't it? (Notice also how you current comment is impeccable! That's the effect of the grammar police.)

And multitasking is standard. You can't consider something standard or not based on when it became standard, but how standard it is at the moment; and, well, at the moment it is a standard.

By the way, I own WP7, so this criticism does not come from some angry fanboy; it comes from an owner. There's really nothing you can't say against the fact that Microsoft lazed away (or rushed) the development and/or release of WP7. Whichever it was, trying to negate, counter-argue or sugar-coat the fact, is just as bad as the fact itself.

Guest said:

Just in case you weren't trolling:

* Xbox Live

* Zune pass

* A UI that wasn't designed in 2006 (iOS)

* A UI that doesn't perform like Win98 (Android)

That said, I'm not a fanboy. It currently has serious limitations. The market-place should be called the fail-place. ("Search? Who's gonna use that?") The browser is inferior ("Uh, maybe html5 isn't gonna catch on.") The fact that Amazon hasn't bothered to make a shopping app makes me wonder when the application marketplace will pick up momentum. 5 months for an update - desktop OSes are on a slower release cycle, but even they get updates more often than that.

Maybe the "Elopocalypse" will improve the scene, though. Time will tell.

Guest said:

I need to know what is the phone with teh skydrive images and fish image in it...?

Guest said:

switch to apple iphone or android and you will not worry about this. promise. BTW wp7 sucks.

-fanboi

Guest said:

I think you'll actually find Amazon has released an app for WP7, it was released on the 11/02/11

princeton princeton said:

aj_the_kidd said:

treeski said:

There are a number of features that WP7 has that other mobile OSes don't.

Such as?

The tile system, xbox live functionality and perfect integration with any windows device.

Guest said:

A UI that doesn't perform like Win98 (Android)

Android doesn't perform like win98. Unless you have a Nexus S your argument is invalid.

aj_the_kidd said:

Princeton said:

aj_the_kidd said:

treeski said:

There are a number of features that WP7 has that other mobile OSes don't.

Such as?

The tile system, xbox live functionality and perfect integration with any windows device.

See those "unique" features arent exactly game changers for me. I have no problem with the current display on my SGS, I own a PS3 so Xbox live means nothing to me and I dont really care about perfect integration with any windows devices. Also Zune pass holds little value to me as well

Still up in the air as to no whether or not to buy a win7 phone.

treeski treeski said:

Guest said:

...

The browser is inferior ("Uh, maybe html5 isn't gonna catch on." The fact that Amazon hasn't bothered to make a shopping app makes me wonder when the application marketplace will pick up momentum. 5 months for an update - desktop OSes are on a slower release cycle, but even they get updates more often than that.

The browser certainly has room for improvement, but it does load pages faster than the iOS default browser. There is actually an Amazon shopping app (made by Amazon, not a 3rd party), with almost perfect 5/5 star reviews. I wish WP7 would update in faster/more regular intervals, but it has been noted that the delay in updates is partly due to different mobile providers/manufacturers needing to play nice in order for the update to be released to all WP7 devices at the same time.

princeton princeton said:

aj_the_kidd said:

Princeton said:

aj_the_kidd said:

treeski said:

There are a number of features that WP7 has that other mobile OSes don't.

Such as?

The tile system, xbox live functionality and perfect integration with any windows device.

See those "unique" features arent exactly game changers for me. I have no problem with the current display on my SGS, I own a PS3 so Xbox live means nothing to me and I dont really care about perfect integration with any windows devices. Also Zune pass holds little value to me as well

Still up in the air as to no whether or not to buy a win7 phone.

The point is those are exclusive features. Just because you don't feel they are important doesn't mean other people won't. You asked for exclusive features and I gave you a couple.

aj_the_kidd said:

Wasn't an attack on you, just explaining why these exclusive features aren't reasons for me to switch, its all good

treeski treeski said:

aj_the_kidd said:

Wasn't an attack on you, just explaining why these exclusive features aren't reasons for me to switch, its all good

I think what you should take away from all this is that after Microsoft rolls out its updates that include multitasking and upgraded browsers, the OS will pretty much be on par with the other options out there (plus a few other features, whether you are drawn to them or not).

At that point, just head over to a store and play around with a Windows Phone device. It does operate quite differently with regard to day-to-day usage. Maybe you'll like it more, maybe not.

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